About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

My chicken has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R . . .

Seasoned farmers will tell you that you should never name the livestock that will eventually end up on your dinner table. A name will make it that much harder for you to process the animal. For that reason, Mike and I once named a goat Opie, which stood for O.P., or Open Pit: a reminder that he was destined to be the main course at a barbecue.

It's hard not to name your animals. A hobby farm is work, don't get me wrong. But it's also similar to having a real-live playset, a bunch of dolls or perhaps army figures, that you ascribe personalities, activities, and even voices to.

We've had chickens named Oddish and Mercy and Roswell and Fluff. Turkeys named Ganzie and Odd Tom and Panama Red. As the poultry came in faster and faster, we resorted to concept names rather than individual names. Movie and entertainer titles come in handy. The Four Freshmen, The Fab Five, The Magnificent Seven, Ocean's Eleven.

The latest concept name for a batch of incubated chicks, The Birds.

Usually chicks will scatter when you reach in the hutch to fill their feeder. The Birds don't. They peck at your hand. Fly up at you. Sit on the feeder as you lift it up. One of them even tried to walk up the mesh wall. All the while, they're making noise that sounds more like squeals than cheeps.

We have a set of monkey bars in our yard that came from the old Kerrick School. Tall, sturdy, heavy monkey bars that sturdy farm kids once played on. Monkey bars that are exactly like the ones in the Alfred Hitchcock movie. I won't worry until I see The Birds roost on them!
Photo credit: Open Pit Barbecue Sauce Coupon from Shelf Life Taste Test

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